Finished fruit watercolor

I worked a few more times on the watercolor and feel that it is basically finished. The computer has been down the last few days and in the shop so I couldn’t post a picture until today.  Pictures taken and no place to unload them.

Red fruit

I pretty much like the way the fruits have turned out, but the strawberry leaves are not quite what I hoped they’d be.  I think perhaps I may have to do a few leaf studies just to work out how I want to do it with the watercolors.  I like the textures of the raspberries and the strawberries that I achieved without the used of the pen.  The sheen on the pomegranate turned out okay too.  I just seem to get lost in giving the leaves enough definition, so perhaps it is time to just work on that.  My fingers are itching to use the ink on them, but I don’t think it would fit in with the rest of the painting and I don’t want to ink up the fruit.  I’ll probably get some of my house plants and use a few of their leaves since spring has not quite sprung yet, despite what the thermometer says today.

Petunias and raspberries revisited

This was one of those weeks where the studio work came last, or as was the case, not at all.  Between the berry picking, a trip to the timber frame job site, and work on a new set of architectural plans on the computer, I don’t think I spent an hour in the studio. 

Berries!

On the good side, I did pick about a gallon of raspberries.  Not as much as I hoped, but the rain delayed me a few days and the birds took advantage.  I’m slightly aggravated over it because I probably would have gotten close to another gallon.  Sometimes there’s just nothing that can be done, so I’m just going to be grateful for the 2 gallons I did get.  Maybe there will be one more day left but  I don’t expect to get much more than 1/2 gallon and I don’t know how good they will be. At the end of the season they can be smaller and less juicy.  Here you can see my picking set up.  I have a small bowl that I take into the bushes to pick and two larger ones to pour into so they don’t crush.  I never like to keep too much in the picking bowl in case I should trip or get startled by the fauna and spill my hard won gains.  It has happened, though not too often.  I’m pretty serious about the berries I’ve already gotten and I’ll go over before they will.  The large white bowl allows me to put the berries in the shade and then find them again later.  This has been an issue occasionally when I wandered too far from where I left the bowls and then I have to frantically search for the stash.  The white does stand out.  I also have to be careful with the metal bowl because it can get too warm from the sun and actually heat up the berries.  This is about 1/2 gallons worth.  On a really good picking day, I’ll come back with all 3 bowls full and I can freeze over a gallon, while leaving plenty to eat fresh.

More petunias

Also. the petunias are continuing to spread nicely.  Because I am sure that they are hybridized, I am getting colors that I never bought, like the light pink.  I think that those came from the striped ones last year because up close you can see a faint stripe of darker color.  In the background  you can see my tomato plants too.  One of these years I will have a real garden instead a few plants in the flower beds.  This has to do for now and I did just pick my first tomato yesterday.

Blackberry season interferes with art

At last I have finished the inking of the next drawing. I have had lots of delays not the least of which is the coming of wild black raspberry season. And nothing interferes with raspberry season. I noticed a few getting ripe on the driveway and so I have spent a few morning hours here and there keeping track of how the ripening was going. It has just started to be worthwhile to get up early in the morning and pick this week. Today I spent 2 1/2 hours picking 3 quarts of berries. It may not seem like a lot, but it is. The largest of them are only as big as my first fingernail. Most range closer to my pinkie nail.  Still, the weather was good for picking – cloudy and fairly cool.  It looked like rain but it didn’t so I just kept on picking.  I have been known to pick when the tornado sirens are going off (it’s a county-wide alarm so I wasn’t in danger where I was).  I’d just about have to be in an electrical storm to give it up.  For the next two weeks it’s going to be a toss-up between berries (1st) and computer and art.  Fortunately, there has to be a few days between pickings to let more ripen and I won’t try again until the weekend.  Later in August it will be blackberry season, but that is for another time.

Tudor entry

Anyway, here is the inking of the latest drawing.  It is more Tudor in style with the stucco and beam work over the brick.  I like the steep roof line over the entry.  It must be close to a 20/12 pitch.  I’m glad I didn’t have to put the slate shingles on that!  I also liked the way that the brick was curved in 4 tiers over the doorway.  The door is actually gently recessed from the front of the house perhaps a brick’s worth at each arch.  Not enough to put the door in shadow, but just enough for a little architectural detail.  You’ll be able to see it more clearly with the color.  The sections of angled brick are pretty too.  They will be a little more subtle when I put in the pastels.

I did take some artistic license with the windows however.  Somehow the colonial grids that were there didn’t seem quite right , so I changed them to diamond grids.  That seemed a little more appropriate.